Michelle Martin grows suspicious when her friend, Katie Brashers, isn’t in attendance at school after a trip to Florida after Spring Break. The police and adult don’t see anything suspicious in Katie’s disappearance, especially considering Katie’s mother was known to have been flirtatious and people just assumed she must have run off with some man. Having lent Katie a special book given her by her grandmother however, and not having said good-bye to her friends and boyfriend, Michelle teams up with her best friend, Tami, and Katie’s boyfriend, Brad, to seek out the truth the Katie’s disappearance. Dodging a demanding mother, the threesome started their own investigation by talking to neighbours, and looking inside Katie’s house. With clues leading into one dead-end after another, Michelle is about to give up when her dog helps her find the most important clue of all and leads her into danger she doesn’t suspect and circumstances beyond what she would ever expect.
Michelle Martin was an engaging young lady whom I really enjoyed as a main character. I really liked her tenaciousness and passive/aggressiveness in trying to find clues that would lead her to find her friend Katie. I also liked her vulnerability with regards to her relationship with her mother, someone whom I really did not like, nor did I really relate to at all. It would be very difficult to deal with someone who has these unpredictable mood swings all of the time, and she handle the situations with maturity and grace. When Michelle finally stood up for herself at dinner one night, I really liked how the author handled the scene as she didn’t lower it to one of Michelle acting like a young child, but allowed Michelle to handle her mother with great aplomb and maturity. I also really liked Mr. Nichols and found him hilarious. He is one of those older people who are retired and don’t have a lot to do, but certainly tend to notice everyone around them. He would have a lot to say about life and I found him terribly interesting. My only concern with the character development is the relationship between Katie and Michelle as I didn’t really feel like there was any bonding between them, like there was a caring relationship. I felt the only reason Michelle wanted to find Katie was to get her book back and that is really no reason for someone to go to all this trouble. It created some confusion as I didn’t fully believe that Michelle’s reasons for looking for Katie were altruistic.